There's a familiar expression that "your home is your castle." Landscaping is the first thing that you see each and every time you approach your home and its also the first thing that neighbors and visitors see. If you are considering selling your home, the landscaping is also the buyer's first introduction to your home. Creating a yard that is visually pleasing and inviting is another way of saying: "We warmly welcome you!"
Whether your home is a large one with land stretching out in every direction (and ornate gardens, elaborate patios and mature trees), or a small home with modest and manageable yard, the truth is that your landscaping can be a big part of enjoying your home. When a beautiful and healthy combination of flowers, bushes and trees are properly placed and then paired with manageable upkeep or an excellent maintenance company, a homeowner should expect that the landscaping will beautify, customize and allow the yard and garden to reflect taste, values and lifestyle.
Hiring professionals to do some or all the "heavy lifting" is yet another way to enjoy your castle and its landscaping! Life is busy and demanding; some people love doing the planning and hard work it takes to create and maintain a beautiful, customized yard. For those who have other priorities, the answer is a highly qualified and experienced landscaper who brings specialized knowledge of native plants, expertise in care and feeding, proper fertilization (time(s), amounts and techniques), and a solid understanding of managing weeds and pests in the yard.
An excellent landscaper with ample experience in installing and maintaining more complex landscaping designs can work with your existing landscaping to remove old or unhealthy plants and move those that could themselves benefit from a "change of scenery" or enhance beauty in a new way when placed in a different part of the yard. Of course, expect your landscaper to work with you on your priorities. Rome was not built in a day; enhancing your home's landscaping may be a process that stretches over time.
For larger projects or major changes to your landscape you may wish to work with a professional landscape designer. Designers have different styles, so finding one that meshes with your style and personality is essential to working together toward the common goal of creating beautiful outdoor living spaces. Some designers work independently, meeting with clients to review the landscape as a whole, discussing the budget and the priorities before designing and drafting a "master plan" that can be installed by the landscaping company of your choice, with (or without) oversight by the designer.
Other designers are employed by an "end to end" design firm; they perform all of the same functions except with the expectation that the plan will be implemented (i.e., all components purchased through and installed) by the design firm company. In this situation, the designer may be compensated in part by sales commissions or year-end sales bonuses - the more they sell to you, the more money they earn on a project. Hiring an independent designer helps you avoid that inherent conflict of interest.
Whether you choose to do the work yourself, hire a landscaper, an independent landscape designer or an all-inclusive landscape design and installation firm, in the long run, great landscaping can substantially increase home value, especially over time. Improving design, condition and plant placement also has the immediate result of helping you enjoy the home that you are in; when you enjoy your lawn, garden and landscaping, coming home each day and spending time outside with family and friends during the beautiful days of spring, summer and fall is a real pleasure.